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Is Ali Fayad Another Undrafted Steal For The Eagles?

The Philadelphia Eagles had a solid 2022 NFL Draft. It certainly looks like the team has improved after their six selections plus their trade for WR A.J. Brown.

In addition to these picks, the Eagles made some notable undrafted free agent selections. Some of these lower-tier players lacked the size or production to be an NFL draft pick, but still display lots of potential. One of the players to keep an eye on is Ali Fayad. Is Ali Fayad another undrafted steal for the Eagles?

Who Is Ali Fayad?

Ali Fayad was picked up by the Eagles to play linebacker/edge. He played his college football at Western Michigan. As a freshman, Fayad made an immediate impact for the WMU Broncos. Fayad had 20 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, and 2.5 sacks during his freshman year. He was named a starting linebacker his sophomore year and recorded 34 tackles, 12 for a loss, 7.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles.

The 2020 season was shortened due to the pandemic. Fayad made the most of his limited opportunities. He had 17 tackles and four sacks in just four games in 2020.

Fayad’s 2021 season was his most successful. He had 40 tackles, 18 for a loss, 13 sacks, and two forced fumbles. This was enough to win MAC Defensive Player of the Year.

His Measurables

Ali Fayad is listed at 6’2″ and 248 lbs. This is considered a bit undersized for an NFL defender. Fayad makes up for this with a high football IQ and skill set. He can time the snap to immediately beat the coverage. Fayad has a quick first step and above-average lateral movement. This means he can get to the running back or quarterback fast. This is why he had such high production in college.

The biggest negative to Fayad’s game is his size. He has short arms and can get overrun by larger offensive linemen and tight ends. Fayad does not have the bulk to be an every-down player. He would make the most sense being a situational pass rusher.

Is He A Steal For Philly?

The Eagles picked up a potential late-round pick after the draft in Ali Fayad. He does something the Eagles struggled with in 2021 which is getting to the quarterback. The Eagles ranked near the bottom of the league in terms of sacks last season.

Ali Fayad likely won’t be a starting LB or DE right away but has a chance to work his way onto the roster. The Eagles have already improved the linebacker group immensely. Davion Taylor and T.J. Edwards will return as starters. The Eagles added Haason Reddick and Kyzir White in free agency. Philadelphia also drafted former Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean in the third round.

As for the defensive line, the Eagles have a great group of players already. Josh Sweat will return as a starter, Brandon Graham will return from injury, Derek Barnett and Fletcher Cox were re-signed, and the Eagles drafted former Georgia DT Jordan Davis. Fayad adds depth to the defense which is an important need.

Ali Fayad probably has a higher chance to make the team or practice squad as a defensive end. He will need to have a great minicamp and preseason to get a roster spot. If he can run all over the field by getting tackles for losses and sacks like he did in college, Fayad should be an exciting player to watch.

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